BLUE supports Kittiwake’s new product launch for offshore market

Kittiwake Developments, a leading global provider of asset protection technology, has announced the appointment of Peter Pilon as CEO of Kittiwake’s US operations. The appointment coincides with Kittiwake’s…

Kittiwake Developments, a leading global provider of asset protection technology, has announced the appointment of Peter Pilon as CEO of Kittiwake’s US operations.

The appointment coincides with Kittiwake’s launch of ThrusterSCAN – an innovative new product for the offshore market – providing an asset protection solution that helps to predict failure, enables preventative maintenance and ultimately insures against costly downtime.

Although Kittiwake has been supplying onboard oil testing equipment for offshore applications for some time, the launch of its new ThrusterSCAN product marks a new era in online condition monitoring for azimuthing thrusters. Tasked with presenting this groundbreaking solution to the market, Pilon’s pedigree stems from 30 years with Hamworthy, latterly as CEO of its US Division specialising in offshore activities. During this time he was responsible for successfully introducing Riser Tensioning Systems and FPSO Cargo Systems to the marketplace, growing the company to a turnover of $27m over 15 years.

Martin Lucas, Managing Director, Kittiwake Developments commented: “Peter’s appointment and the recalibration of the American offering demonstrates Kittiwake’s ongoing commitment to both the US and offshore markets. We have relocated our office from Atlanta to Houston and consolidated focus to core markets, ensuring that we continue to provide customers with market-leading asset protection solutions that directly impact the bottom line.”

Individual ThrusterSCAN monitoring units are installed local to each thruster and comprise of a touch screen machine interface, metallic particle sensor, oil condition sensor, moisture sensor, oil temperature sensor and sampling pump. A central control room touch screen display provides an overview of the condition of all thrusters.

ThrusterSCAN delivers early warning of thruster component damage, lubricant degradation and seal leak/failures, whilst providing information to help optimise the thruster and effectively manage overhaul schedules.

Simple to retrofit and compatible with existing condition monitoring systems, ThrusterSCAN continuously monitors wear debris, water ingress and oil quality, enabling maintenance engineers to make fast and informed decisions with confidence.

Pilon commented: “With 30 years’ experience within the upstream oil and gas industry, I am intimately familiar with the constant battle against downtime fought by oil and gas operators. With colossal average day rates, the cost of any loss of productivity can quickly escalate. Added to which, exceeding the agreed levels of downtime during a tender can incur a fine, and of course records from previous tenders can also provide competitive advantage. It is eminently clear from trial data that Kittiwake’s ThrusterSCAN product can both manage risk and reduce costs; maximising uptime and enhancing the drilling contractor’s performance and subsequent returns.”

In addition to Kittiwake’s growth trajectory since inception, Pilon said he has been impressed by the scale of the company’s R&D budget, which he says significantly outperforms any other company that he is familiar with. He also commends the team’s ‘can do’ attitude and immediate, entrepreneurial response to market opportunities that are so often missed by larger companies constrained by red tape.

Pilon concluded: “Understanding thruster condition is critical to the drilling operation; refurbishment is essential and failure to be avoided at all costs. Not only can ThrusterSCAN predict failure and enable more efficient lubricant usage, the system can demonstrate the effect of operating conditions, informing parameter adjustment to prolong life. The system can also potentially extend service intervals based on condition, rather than hours of operation, which assumes thrusters are running at 100% capacity, 100% of the time.”

Despite the challenging financial climate, Kittiwake Developments has achieved approaching 7% growth on last year and is currently exploring various expansion strategies, with further significant announcements anticipated before the end of 2010.

BLUE has worked with Kittiwake since 2008 and continues to provide full public relations support for the company’s activities across the globe.